Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture

Climate Change Impacts on
Healthy Eating in Context:
Communicating for Change
& Sustainability
Gwendelyn Geidel, PhD, JD
Crop Susceptibility to Climate Change
1) Abiotic effects
- Crop development and yield impacted by (exp):
temperature changes
precipitation changes
2) Biotic effects
- impact agricultural productivity (exp) :
pest pressures
availability of pollination services
Climate Change effects on Production
Aggregate Effects transcend individual agroecosystems:
Agriculture is complex system linked to
climate by temp., precip., solar radiation, and
atmospheric gas composition.
Soil and water resources are impacted by
same issues and represent key components of
the system.
Climate Change effects on Soil Resources
Soils provide ecosystem services:
Nutrient cycling & delivery of nutrients for
food and fiber production;
Flood mitigation thru filtration and water
Structure to support plants – multi element
CO2 sequestration & uptake of GHG in surface
and organic layers
Soil erosion effected by CC
• Studies of field edge effects indicate major
factors are:
1) Rainfall:
a) intensity – Hi I, short D > Low I, long D
b) increase CO2 may lead to plant growth and
ground cover – lower splash and higher infiltration,
But higher intensity may increases erosion overall.
• 2) Snow and Winter processes- increased
erosion when melt water flows over thawed
soil on top of frozen soil.
• 3) Wind – erosion by wind impacted by
velocity, soil moisture content, surface
roughness, vegetation. Primary areas: Great
Plains (TX – ND)
Dust storm near Lubbock, Texas
Changing Production and Effects on
• Changes in temperature and ppt. are changing
the types of crops planted, dates of planting,
harvest and tillage and crop management.
• Mixed messages with regard to soil erosion –
most studies show an increase in soil erosion
(decreasing fertility), but the opportunities for
increased management coupled with the varying
temporal and spatial scales, may result in new
models that will more accurately reflect shifts in
ecosystem characteristics.
• Walthall, C.L. et al. 2012. Climate Change and Agriculture in the
United States: Effects and Adaptation. USDA Technical Bulletin
1935. Washington, DC. 186 pp.
• Dominati, E., M. Patterson, A. Mackay, 2010. A framework for
classifying and quantifying the natural capital and ecosystem
services of soils. Ecological Economics, 69(9):1858-1868.
• Pruski, F.F. and M.A. Nearing. 2002a. Runnoff and soil-loss
responses to changes in precipitation: a computer simulation study.
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 57(1):7-16.
• Ravi, S., et al. 2011, Aeolian Processes and the biosphere. Rev.
Geophys., 49(3):RG3001.
• Gardner, T., et al. 2012. Pyrosequencing Reveals Bacteria Carried in
Different Wind-Eroded Sediments. Journal of Environmental
Quality. 41 (3). 744-753.

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